Social forces could be referred to as any impulse or urge that culminates into a social action. Social force does not occur in a vacuum as it only happens in an organized society. Mostly it is what results when people in a society come together to bring about social change. Social force could also be said to be the basic driving force or motivational force that leads to fundamental changes in the society. There are a number of social forces that operated during the 1920s through the 1960s to influence policies and rates in the United States.
One of the social forces that led to the increase in immigration rate after the Second World War was the stable growth of the economy. The post World War Two period created an environment that was very favorable to economic growth. Money that US had loaned to its allies was gradually coming in something that boosted the then economic status of the country. As a result of this many job opportunities were created which led to immigration of many people from other parts of the world to US. (Kalbach)
Industrialization is another force that influenced immigration policies in U. S. in the period between 1920s and 1960s. It attracted people from allover the world in search of better job opportunities. People started to move from their countries to US leading to an increase in population. For example after the first world war, US economy was doing very well partly because the war never took place on its soil and thus its economy had not been affected by the war unlike in many European countries.
This forced the government to change its immigration policies by introducing what was referred to as the 1921 Quota Act whose main goal was to limit the number of immigrants each country could have in United States (Boyd, M. 2003). Due to high immigration rates of Slavic after the post world war period, rebel groups formed national and religious movements something that appeared to be a real threat to peace stability. This forced the US government to change its policy towards this thereby limiting immigration rate.
Still another thing that affected immigration policies and rates is the 1960s women movements which were aimed at fighting the rights for women. Family reunion was one of the pressing needs that were advocated by these movements. This forced the government to review its immigration policy so that family members who wanted to reunite with other family members could do so freely. Immigration policy makers were also sensitized by these movements on some of gender insensitive policies they had made for example the one that assumed that women who were migrating were wives of the male immigrants.
It helped to change this perception and they started being treated as women immigrants and not as immigrant wives. (Boyd, M. 2003). Population increase is another social force that can bring about social change and this was something that happened in US in the period between 1920s and 1960s. Population increase can result due to two reasons –first through internal reproduction and through immigrations.
Due to high rates of immigration during this period, the government changed its policies to limit the number of people coming in but due to unprecedented economic collapse, the government starting from 1960s started encouraging immigrant groups such as family members seeking family reunion, workers such as engineers, teachers and doctors to salvage the country from its economic mess. It is this period that witnessed the abolishment of policies that were based on ethnicity and racism and the introduction of better policies. “During the early 1960s, immigration was encouraged by changes in Immigration policy.
Longstanding restrictions based on racial and ethnic origins were removed and selection criteria were introduced based on education, occupational skills and labor needs” (Kalbach W. E) Indeed social forces can bring about changes in immigration rates and policies that govern immigration departments. There was witnessed a number of these forces during the 1920s-1960s period. It is these forces that made some of these policies to be reviewed for example the review of the laws that were gender insensitive and others that were guided by racism and ethnicity principles.